LINX® SYSTEM FOR REFLUX MANAGEMENT
DayOne Health in Chicago is now offering a new minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of chronic gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). The LINX procedure is a safer alternative to the traditional and more invasive Nissen fundoplication surgery, and can be performed in an outpatient setting. The LINX System is not only safer than fundoplication, but also delivers better results. In a study, patients who underwent the LINX procedure reported their reflux symptoms were reduced or fully resolved; in addition, 93% of patients reported a significant decrease in the need for medication.
You may be a candidate for a LINX procedure if:
- ✔ You suffer from a chronic reflux
- ✔ You have already tried most over-the-counter and prescribed reflux medication
- ✔ Your doctor has recommended surgical treatment of GERD
- ✔ Your doctor has suggested laparoscopic fundoplication as a next step in your treatment
WHAT IS CHRONIC REFLUX DISEASE?
Chronic reflux disease is a serious condition caused by a weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which works like a valve, providing the body’s natural barrier to reflux. When working properly, the LES closes the stomach after swallowing and prevents the contents of the stomach &madsh; including food matter and stomach acid — from leaking into the esophagus. If the sphincter is weakened, the stomach is missing its natural barrier, and its contents find their way back up the esophagus. The LINX System addresses the underlying cause of the reflux by restoring the natural barrier, without creating any difficulty swallowing.
Patients who suffer from chronic reflux often experience burning in their chest and throat, and a sour taste in the mouth. While almost everyone experiences heartburn once in a while or after eating certain foods, patients with a chronic condition experience it two or more times a week along with other symptoms such as:
✔Wheezing ✔Burning in the chest
✔Coughing ✔Continuous burping
The condition may be aggravated by spicy, greasy, and sour foods. Other foods that can make your symptoms worse are:
- ✔ Chocolate
- ✔ Peppermint
- ✔ Carbonated drinks
- ✔ Tomato-based products
- ✔ Mustard
- ✔ Vinegar
- ✔ Anything with citrus
Patients who experience GERD often try to fight their symptoms with over-the-counter and prescription medication and diet modification. However, anti-reflux medication may not be enough to cure all the symptoms. For patients who don’t find relief with traditional treatment methods, doctors may recommend surgery. Currently available surgeries for patients suffering from chronic reflux are a Nissen fundoplication and the new, minimally invasive LINX procedure.
WHAT IS THE LINX SYSTEM?
The LINX System is a small, flexible band of magnets enclosed in titanium beads. The magnetic attraction between the beads helps keep the LES closed to prevent reflux. When you swallow, the force breaks the magnetic bond, allowing food and liquid to pass normally into the stomach. The magnetic attraction recloses the LES immediately after swallowing, restoring the barrier.
Even though the LINX System restores restriction of the sphincter, it does not interfere with other bodily functions such as belching or vomiting. The LINX System does not involve changing or cutting anything — it simply reinforces the natural mechanism that is already in the patient’s body.
HOW IS THE LINX SYSTEM IMPLANTED?
The surgery is performed laparoscopically via four small incisions in the abdomen. During the surgery, your surgeon will place the LINX System around the esophagus, just above the stomach, and secure it in place. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes less than one hour. Once implanted, the device will start working immediately. You will be able to go home within two to three hours after the surgery.
Following the procedure, under your doctor’s guidance, you should be able to resume a normal diet and will typically resume normal activities in less than a week. Side effects are generally minimal and resolve over time. Your physician will be able to give you more information once learning your individual history.